I first wrote this post on The Old Summers Home but deemed it was more appropriate here. My miscarriage was one of the most difficult times of my life and it has taken many years to get to where I am now emotionally…
This is a story about a very hard time in my life that I went through, that we both went through and yet, I felt so very alone.
In a world full of billions of people, I felt alone.
Today I’m sharing how my miscarriage broke me and the signs and symptoms you should watch for.
At 7 weeks, I had an ultrasound to confirm my pregnancy due to some complications with extreme pain and other odd symptoms.
I couldn’t believe I was pregnant, we had just started trying and I really did not expect it to happen so quickly.
We were overjoyed by the ultrasound results saying everything looked good, no problems, just a tiny little fetus starting to grow inside of me.
Our hearts swelled. We could hardly contain our excitement.
I began to wonder if it would be a boy or a girl, if our baby would look more like Josh or more like me.
What would they be like?
What would life be like now with a sweet bundle of joy filling our empty home?
We were so excited we told our family and friends, and the news travelled quickly in our small little town.
I felt the glow of pregnancy and the reality that I would be a mom was just beginning to sink in.
We started planning for the new addition, talking about baby names and how to decorate the nursery.
Something wasn’t right… Is this a miscarriage?
At 12 weeks, I was still doing great despite having some underlying issues that put me at high risk. I was out for an afternoon walk when suddenly something did not feel quite right and pain started in my pelvis.
I can’t quite explain it but at that moment I knew something was wrong, something wasn’t right…
Once I returned home I realized I had started to bleed.
My heart stuck in my throat and we headed to our doctor, who transferred us to our nearest hospital. There they checked me and gave me something for the pain that was worsening by the minute.
The pain was nothing compared to the fear I was feeling. I had no idea what was going on and my imagination played wild games with my mind.
I was afraid and I was alone (my husband had to run home and get something) in a hospital away from home and had no one to talk to.
I remember the nurse coming in to give me something for the pain, she was someone I had graduated high school with. I was embarrassed, this was the moment I realized miscarriages were not openly discussed or acknowledged.
She didn’t acknowledge why I was there and we made small talk instead. It was a game of pretending and I felt like I should be ashamed. I’m not sure why, but this was how I felt and when my blame started to seep into my mind.
I wanted to know what was happening but it was not the vibe in the room. I fell asleep not knowing anything.
After a long sleepless night, they sent us to the city for an ultrasound. After the ultrasound, we received no results and they sent us back to the hospital we came from.
A doctor told me it was too soon to tell even though I was now bleeding heavily. They discharged me with instructions to check my blood clots for fetal tissue.
Words I never imagined I would hear.
According to the doctor, if I rubbed the blood clot between my fingers and it did not disintegrate it was fetal tissue meaning I was having a miscarriage. This was something that just blew my mind.
They instructed me to remain on bed rest for two weeks when they would check me again with a follow-up ultrasound. Two weeks.
“Spontaneous Abortion, A Miscarriage”
For days, I waited for the bleeding to stop, to lessen, to slow. I waited for the pain to get better, for my head to just allow me to think clearly. I waited to wake up from the nightmare I was in.
We saw another doctor and I asked them for the first time, the words that I could hardly get out of my mouth. “Is this a miscarriage?” No one had yet to even acknowledge it in actual words.
We could not get a straight answer, so I called the hospital to ask them too.
It seemed no one wanted to give me the answer, the words that even I was afraid to speak.
I scoured the internet, searching Google, for any relevant answers. My fear was getting overwhelming and anxiety was taking over. The pain only worsened and I cried day and night.
After 10 long days of going crazy and hoping and praying, we decided to go to a bigger hospital.
Within three hours of checking into Emergency, they told us the words we struggled to speak. “I’m sorry, you lost the baby. Your body has had a spontaneous abortion, a miscarriage.”
10 whole days of holding out faith and never hearing the words from anyone’s mouth but my own.
And now the earth was crumbling under me.
It was as though all the medical doctors and staff we had seen the past few weeks could not even speak about the stigmatized ‘miscarriage‘. As if none of them wanted the job to tell us of our impending loss.
And that probably broke me the most.
The Stigma Behind Talking About a Miscarriage
The world was different when I had my first miscarriage and I knew a lot less about being open with my feelings.
The word miscarriage had a certain stigma to it and unfortunately, it is still something that is silenced many times even today.
Knowing that it is okay to talk about these things with others is essential to your healing.
It is different everywhere you live, but where we come from, such a topic is not always open for discussion.
My own mother wanted nothing to speak of it.
My friends had no words of comfort and some had no words at all.
I felt abandoned when I needed comfort most of all.
Words can break people
People will say things like “it is common for women to have a miscarriage”, “it’s not actually a baby that early on” or “lots of women have miscarriages and don’t even know it.”
Words that do not help, they do not make anyone feel better. In fact, those words have stayed with me for the past decade.
I remember being told that I should not have shared my excitement about our pregnancy and then I would not have had to explain that our baby died. I was told this in public not anywhere with privacy. But rather a public place. I felt like I was being shamed and blamed.
That left me hesitant for years to come to share any of our future expecting babies.
I remember thinking, “what a cruel thing to tell a woman who saw herself as a mother in just a few short months.” Hell, I already thought of myself as a mother with my little baby growing inside of me.
When people talk about infant loss and infant loss awareness day, miscarriage is sometimes forgotten. The fact that you never held your baby in your arms or that they never breathed a gasp of fresh air is somehow supposed to make it less of a loss.
Let me tell you right now, that is not true! You have every right to feel the heartbreak deep down in your heart and soul.
No one, I repeat NO ONE has the authority to tell you how you feel!
How My Miscarriage Broke Me
Josh was the only person whom I could talk to and I couldn’t. I couldn’t bring myself to look him in the eye.
I lost our baby, I lost the child we committed to having with each other. I! Me alone, had ended our dreams.
It was justified in my mind that I had done something wrong, that I was too weak, that I was somehow broken.
To this very day, I struggle to speak of our first loss. I even try not to think about it in hopes that it was never really true.
Perhaps that is why I hate the terminology ‘spontaneous abortion‘.
That term leaves a mother feeling full of guilt for something that she has no control over whatsoever.
It is confusing terminology that gives the impression that we are weak or frail or not right in some way.
When I first heard those words I had no idea of the implications it would have on me and I withdrew upon myself.
They told us to wait to try to conceive again, to let my body heal. They never said anything about my mind.
After almost 2 weeks of trying to hold on to hope I felt my faith in God slipping away.
What had I done to be forsaken?
Where did I make the wrong choice that would take away our sweet baby?
How could I have done things differently for God to have saved our child?
What if I never went for that walk? What if I were a better person?
What if, what if, what if???
Would I still have lost the baby?
My heart broke, my emotions were now a mess.
My hormone levels were through the roof.
I became withdrawn and I let my emotions overtake me.
I no longer felt my normal happy self but rather like a ticking time-bomb.
At that time I had no idea how much my mind was in control.
Seeking support after a miscarriage
I finally took a chance and saw another doctor. He was different than the rest and he comforted me and talked to me about my loss.
This man, who I had just only met, listened to me as no one had listened to me before.
He spoke the words no one else was willing to say. And he said them with compassion and some deep profound understanding.
He encouraged us to try again. He assured me that with my hormone levels being so high would give us a better chance on a surviving baby the next time around. A rainbow baby, as I learned later on.
This doctor was so open with me and for the first time, he gave me a sense of hope that I, in fact, was not the cause of our loss.
He told me that perhaps something was severely wrong and that God knew what was best.
I felt a glimmer in my faith come back.
One day, my neighbour asked me to come for tea. She was an elderly lady that was always so very sweet to us.
We were young and still had much to learn, but she and her husband treated us as though we were mature adults with our shit together.
As I sat there in her living room sipping some sweet tea she opened up to me about her own story.
It was the first time I felt someone related to everything I was feeling. The first time, I had ever heard someone speak of a miscarriage they had suffered and to be so open about it.
Her story is not mine to tell but the companionship we shared that day stays with me even now.
Motivational quotes of strength helped me to get through the next several months.
What Symptoms You Should Watch For After a Miscarriage
Isolation After Miscarriage
You may not even know you are isolating yourself from the outside world, looking back it is something I can clearly now.
I stayed on a mattress in our living room for days, blankly staring at the television and crying day in and day out waiting for my answer.
I was completely isolated from the outside world. Stuck in my head with thoughts of failure and fears of the worst.
Don’t follow in my footsteps. Assess how you are doing.
When is the last time you got out of bed?
The last time you interacted with another human being in a social environment?
When have you opened up to someone else?
- As hard as it is right now, try to maintain some of your outgoing personality.
- Try to engage with a few people each day even if it is just your spouse or a quick call to a friend.
- Try to seek the outside world.
Depression After Miscarriage
Feeling sad and broken are normal feelings after a loss but it can also become all-consuming.
20% of women experience depression after a miscarriage and the effects can last up to 3 years. Being that most women do not feel able to discuss mental health and depression freely the numbers may actually be much higher.
If you find yourself having thoughts of self-harm and worthlessness, then please reach out to a medical professional to get help.
There is nothing to be ashamed of.
- Find social media support groups.
- Reach out to your family doctor.
- Check out loss support groups in your area.
- Talk with someone who has been through this already.
- Journal your thoughts and try to focus on what you can control.
Loss of Appetite After Miscarriage
Your body has just gone through a traumatic ordeal and nutrition is very important to help your body heal.
You may not want to eat or even think of food. You may not even want to drink.
I think, personally, in some way, I felt I did not deserve to fulfil these essential basic needs of life. I knew little about self-love or self-care. I knew nothing of forgiving yourself.
If you would like to learn more about forgiving yourself check out lesson #5 in our complimentary Empowering Self Awareness Course. This entire course would be very helpful for helping you to heal your mind.
Malnourishment and dehydration can worsen the symptoms.
- Ensure to drink enough water so that you do not become dehydrated.
- Try to eat a well-balanced diet, even if smaller than normal.
- Consider supplementing with protein drinks if you are unable to eat, but beware the sugar content in them.
- If your loss of appetite continues and results in a weight loss of more than a few pounds, seek medical advice.
Insomnia After Miscarriage
Just like maintaining a healthy diet, sleep is equally important in healing both physically and emotionally.
I did not want to close my eyes, and I did not want to dream. I did not want to see a sweet little baby in my mind’s eye that was not going to be.
If you are not getting enough sleep or feeling exhaustion, do not hesitate to ask your doctor for help.
They may provide you with a sleep aide or recommend some natural sleep advice.
- Consult your doctor for advice.
- Try drinking a mug of tea or warm milk.
- Try to gather all your thoughts in a mental jar and seal it off for the night.
- Listen to soothing music before bed.
- Use meditation to help you unwind.
- Have a warm bath with candles.
- Keep the lights dimmed prior to bedtime.
Since My Miscarriage That Broke Me
Our next pregnancy, the pregnancy the kind doctor recommended we try again for, was a success. It blessed us with our dear oldest daughter Abigail.
We wanted another child for her to grow with.
And again we suffered another loss.
Things were different now, I knew we could try again and I knew a bit more about self-care.
I knew what to do and knew who to reach out to.
I learned to build friendships with people who loved me and supported me.
These people do not run from me when I need them.
They are there to give me a shoulder to cry on and help me back up to my feet.
I learned to build friendships with people who loved and supported me.
I was also busy with a little girl to contend with and this time I was not alone. We tried again.
We found out we were expecting twins. It was not an easy pregnancy and in fact it started much the same as our first loss.
I found out we were having twins during an emergency ultrasound after I had been prepped for surgery for a suspected ectopic pregnancy. The pregnancy was long and difficult. A story for another day.
Miraculously, both our girls survived despite the odds they were given. Katey and Emily, two more girls, round out the rest of our little family.
My last miscarriage was a shock and emotionally very hard. I did not know I was pregnant and we were not in a place of thinking of growing our family.
I was alone in a hospital, hours away from my family, with our sweet Emily needing surgery.
In all honesty, I did not have time to grieve this unexpected pregnancy and unexpected loss.
I had been running on adrenaline for months and I was in overdrive.
I told my husband about it while in the operating waiting room when he rushed down for Emily’s surgery.
Our grief was then overcome by the pure joy that our daughter had gone through surgery successfully and expected to make a full recovery.
Lest We Forget – Remembering the loss from our miscarriage.
It has been 10 years since the loss of our first baby. It was many years before I felt comfortable talking about it. I have learnt a lot since then in ways of coping through difficult times.
After our miscarriage, I placed the positive pregnancy test and our first ultrasound along with a letter I wrote to our unborn child in a keepsake box and stored it away.
I know some people who have planted a rose bush or a little garden for their lost baby.
Some have an entire trunk of things that have kept.
Personally, I can not bring myself to look at the letter I wrote to help my healing in an attempt to get some closure.
Writing this post in hopes that it will help someone else helps me to heal a little bit more.
October is pregnancy & infant loss awareness month. October 15th is world pregnancy and infant memorial day also known as the wave of light.
Join the Wave of Light for Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day.
Simply light a candle in honour of all the sweet littles taken too soon.
We have been doing this for years with our oldest daughter. She likes to say a prayer for the babies who have gone to get their wings. #WaveOfLight, Join the Movement.
We Stand Together
Thank you for coming today. I hope that by sharing my story of our miscarriage it has helped you in some way or another.
Remember, we stand together during this difficult time.
Reach out for support whether it be from friends or online support.
There is always someone there who will listen.
Sending you so much love and prayers. Remember, you do not need to do this alone. God Bless.
Love your guts…
Take Care & Chat Soon;